Written by Liz Dircks
Lucifer Season 2 Premiere, “Everything’s Coming Up Lucifer” Plot Summary:
Lucifer (Tom Ellis) and Amenadiel (D. B. Woodside) attempt to track down their powerful mother (Tricia Helfer), who has escaped captivity in Hell. Mazikeen (Lesley-Ann Brandt) returns from a mysterious absence, while Chloe Decker (Lauren German) enlists Lucifer once more to investigate the death of an understudy actress.
Lucifer is the definition of “guilty pleasure.” It’s a beautiful, hot mess of a show that still has some major kinks to work out, but plenty of time to do so. When your titular character’s very existence revolves around drawing out a person’s secret desires, fun times are always on the horizon. In the opening scene of “Everything’s Coming Up Lucifer,” for instance, Lucifer and his angelic brother Amenadiel interrupt a robbery and leave one of the gunmen stripped down to his underwear, shoelaces tied together.
Hey, who’s to say you wouldn’t act like a nine-year-old if you had the power to stop time?
Despite my continued weariness about the show’s procedural element, the first season of Lucifer proved to be more than the sum of its parts. Mildly slapstick, tantalizingly sinful, and surprisingly existentialist, it’s as much vanilla cop drama as it is a detailed look into the soul of a, let’s say, controversial figure in Christianity, exploring why he fell from Heaven, why he’s shirking his duties, and his uphill battle to find personal meaning. After the heavenly escapades of “Everything’s Coming Up Lucifer,” the rest of premiere week is going to feel like being at your grandma’s knitting circle.
The police part of this episode is plain sailing. An understudy actress is found dead on a studio set with two metal rods resembling horns jammed into her skull. From this point on, Lucifer, who is certain he’s first on his mother’s hit list, interprets every little wink and nod to his devilish nature as a sign that she’s playing around with him. His determination to find her leads him and Detective Chloe Decker, who still solicits his help on cases despite his unorthodox methods, into some truly embarrassing situations (including getting pounced on by a young actress and trying to draw out a drug dealer from an addiction support group by saying how much he loves drugs). Lucifer concludes who the killer is shortly before Decker does, and it ties into the episode’s themes of mother figures and how they sometimes can fail us.
But why not focus on the supernatural soap opera this show is at its core? After Amenadiel and Lucifer are troubled by Mazikeen’s disappearance, Maze abruptly returns to save Lucifer from a stabbing. When grilled on where she’s been, Maze is cryptic, saying she was doing some “soul-searching” with a friend. (The throwaway line is promising, possibly foreshadowing a new demon coming into the fray.) Like Lucifer, she’s having trouble understanding her place in the Grand Scheme, but don’t fret — this is essentially the same old Maze, as evidenced by her merciless torture of the poor sap who took a swipe at her boss. Maze is unpredictable, a variable in the cast, and her influence may end up being bad news for all somewhere down the line.
Tom Ellis’s portrayal of Lucifer is charming in a way reminiscent of Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who (though significantly more sinister), and the tricky part for the lead actors around him is to not be overshadowed. While Lauren German has made Decker loosen up a bit, it’s still hard not to focus predominantly on the guy who flashes the megawatt smile whenever he’s about to punish someone with fire and brimstone. D. B. Woodside’s Amenadiel, however, seems to be losing his powers in the same way Lucifer sporadically lost his immortality last season. It puts Amenadiel on a similar path to his brother as he confronts humanity face-to-face. Pair that with the awkwardness of his relationship with Maze — the two have a weird break-up scene, as if the maxims of dating can be easily applied to immortal beings — and it seems as though Amenadiel (and Woodside) is the one to watch this season, as he copes with the possibility of losing his place in the Heavenly order.
The episode ends, funnily enough, with Lucifer’s mother coming to him, stumbling into Lux looking worse for wear and breathlessly asking Lucifer for help. It’s an interesting twist, considering we’ve viewed her only through Lucifer’s murderous prism thus far, but the show has yet to answer Season 1’s most puzzling question: who exactly is Lucifer’s mother? Christianity never mentions a woman with celestial power akin to God’s; in fact, women with any kind of agency are difficult to find in biblical teachings. According to next week’s promo, she’s the “goddess of creation,” though clearly one cut out of the narrative that finally trickled down to humanity. She appears to be a force to be reckoned with, played by TV veteran Tricia Helfer, and I’m looking forward to discovering how she fits into the story, and what, precisely, she appears to be running from.
Even if the Lucifer writers aren’t able to mine more of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels (I would kill to see their rendition of the Corinthian), Season 2 still holds a lot of potential, with room for growth. While I think the show would do better if it were more serialized, I’m continuously surprised at the depth of characterization that Lucifer offers. Other supernatural dramas have played fast and loose with history; Lucifer may end up doing the same with theology. And with plenty of people in Los Angeles who need a “come to Jesus” moment, there will no doubt be plenty of sinners to be sacrificed at Lucifer’s alter this season.
RATING: 7 out of 10